Work on Fortaleza Street to necessitate rerouting of traffic
By John McPhaul
Work to improve the road infrastructure on Fortaleza Street in Old San Juan will begin this week, the mayor of the capital city, Miguel Romero Lugo, announced Tuesday.
The first phase of the work that is part of the Tus Calles Al Día project will specifically impact Fortaleza Street between Tanca and O’Donnell streets. For this reason, the mayor said, changes were established in the vehicular traffic pattern.
To leave the walled city, drivers traveling on Fortaleza Street will have the option of detouring through San Justo Street so that they can travel through Tetuán Street or Comercio Street. All other entrance and exit accesses to the urban area of Old San Juan will remain unchanged.
“Today, formally, work begins on the most important road on the islet of San Juan, which is being developed following state and federal construction parameters for this type of project, and also carefully observing the regulations regarding … protected areas [and] designated landmarks in Puerto Rico,” the mayor said. “This project implies changes in vehicular traffic to guarantee the flow of vehicles in an orderly manner for the well being of residents, visitors and merchants. However, it is important that everyone knows that the economic activity on Fortaleza Street will continue in the midst of the work, so we invite everyone to frequent businesses and eating places in the area.”
The improvement work is the result of an investment of $3.8 million in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds through the City Revitalization program. Divided into phases, it includes among other things the replacement of contemporary cobblestones, repairs to sidewalks and access ramps, and installation of road safety devices.
Romero Lugo said the replacement of the cobblestone pavement installation will be accomplished with materials in compliance with federal and state standards for high-traffic roads, but also observing compliance with the regulations regarding designated historic areas in Puerto Rico, according to those established by the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, the Office of Built Historical Heritage, and the State Historic Preservation Office, responsible for ensuring that the use of federal funds does not negatively impact the historic urban environment.
The work will be done in phases, which include a mitigation plan to control the escape of dust and sedimentation into the existing rainwater system, as well as a traffic coordination plan for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.